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I am ghostwriting for my son. He is 18, and has a live-in ...

I am ghostwriting for my...
I am ghostwriting for my son. He is 18, and has a live-in 18-year-old girlfriend. Unfortunately, he has had some legal trouble recently (driving without a license), and is facing 20 days in jail. That does not seem to be his concern. His big concern is his girlfriend being alone and "on the loose" during this time. Though, they claim to love each other and have been together nearly a year, there is still a problem with trust. They express to each other that they are deeply in love with each other, and would never cheat on each other, but my son expresses jealousy and concern. He does say that she is flirtatious, and craves the attention of other men. I told him that she that might just be it, she craves a lot of attention. And also, she may tend to feel a little insecure with my son, therefore feels like she should have guys on the string in case things fall through with my son. What can I tell my son to ease his mind?
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Answered in 1 hour by:
5/15/2008
KimberlyF
KimberlyF, Longtime Relationship Expert
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 750
Experience: Relationship expert for almost three years with JustAnswer.com
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HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer:

Your son is just going to have to trust his girlfriend and hope that she doesn't step out on him while he does the 20 days. 20 days is not a long time to do compared to the time he could have gotten. You could tell him that you will keep an eye on the girlfriend while he is away and inform him of anything she doesn't wrong but that isn't very fair to the relationship because it should be built on trust and honesty and communication. Your son should talk to his girlfriend and tell her his concerns if they truly love each other she will listen and reassure him herself. You don't want any hard feelings between you and the girlfriend and if you are his watch dog that could cause a problem, so you are best to stay out of the relationship aspect and just listen to your son and give him your words of encouragement and wisdom. Really until he has concrete proof he is going to have to try and trust her.

Thank you again for trusting me with your problem.

KimberlyF
KimberlyF, Longtime Relationship Expert
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 750
Experience: Relationship expert for almost three years with JustAnswer.com
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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
This is what I e-mail my son last night, what do you think of my layman discussion? Please be frank. His girlfriend, does talk to other guys, then tells my son about it, and that she actually likes the other guys. He replies, "Well, how would you feel if I did the same?" She says she would not like it. So, he says that is not fair. You may be thinking they are so incredibly young, and I think so, too, although I did get married when I was 18. And, looking back, as is usually the case, even at the tiny age of 18, you think you have it all figured out. For my son, I do feel if he has these feelings (this is not the first time, he is scared to go away at all), it may not be the right long-term relationship or marriage. He will live in constant knots. And, to give her the benefit of the doubt, if she flirting with other guys as a means of security or attention-seeking, she may not be entirely happy in the relationship either. One thing is, I will not do any monitoring of her. It would be too obvious, and if I did find something out, I would not know how to handle the information. But, thank you for the thought. It is not a bad idea, because personally I would do something like that in my own life. Anyway, please read my advice to him, and please, please add or revise. And, if you could provide your input on her flirtatious behavior. He is so confused why she feels the need to do this. He declares that he is constantly reassuring her. And, how do I tell him without being trite, "there are other fish in the sea" if things do not go well?

Taylor,

I am sure things will be OK while you are jailing. Like we were saying there is nothing worse than a break up, and she may be a little too friendly with other guys because she wants to have "feelers" out in case something happens between you two. I know you reassure her, but she still may be scared. Plus, like you said, it is not uncommon for women especially to crave attention. That is probably how you "snagged" her in the first place, was by giving her a lot of attention. There is no perfect answer, and God knows I do not have a clue, but just remember, you have never had trouble finding a girl, and I know E is the one you love and want, but you are extremely young, and just look at how many girls you have had just in your short lifetime? It will be OK. I don't mean to sound trite, but if she does cheat, it is better to have it happen now than when you get even deeper involved. And, she won't. If she does, you do not want her anyway. Talk to Dad. He is smart on these matters.
Customer

You told your son your honest opinion without sounding pushy and that is all he could expect from you and if you were pushy it would probably make him want this woman even more. He has to find out on his own how she is and you are right she may be doing this for attention or maybe she feels insecure within herself to trust that your son is the right person for her and if things don't work out she may be the type that doesn't like to be alone for a long period of time and this is why she likes to have backup but if this is truly the way she feelings and this is hypothetically speaking then she will never truly be happy with anyone because she will be always be waiting for things to go wrong. Both men and women both flirt sometimes even when they have that someone special in their life mostly they just want to know they still have it in them to get someone else to be attracted to them.

Your son will appreciate your honesty and support, also you're right if she does cheat on him while he is gone then he will know that she wasn't meant for him in the first place and there are other women out there that will appreciate a man like him. It's not always about age it's about the maturity and this woman doesn't sound too mature if she is still looking for attention in other men. Just be there for your son and show him that someone is on his side especially while he is incarcerated he will need emotional support during that time. You will also see this woman's true colors while he is away if she stays loyal to your son then maybe she truly does love him and if she doesn't he will know she just wasn't the one.

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
You are so right, and we all go through this. You are so right in your last statement where you say, "he will know she just wasn't the one." The whole world-wide sadness is that we want people to be the people for us even though they are not. I live that. You may have, too. It is about the most heartbreaking thing that has no laws against it, and does not make front page news. But, when it happens to you, it is like wearing shoes that are too tight (all you can think about). One thing is that, he is not going to Iraq for 18 months, he is going for 20 days. This is not that long for someone to stay alone. Especially when she can visit him everyday. As I write this, I am thinking, and not to be biased because he is my son, but just matter of fact. She gets to sleep in a nice warm bed with her own bathroom. While he is in....jail. If she cheats on him while he is in there, that would be pretty low. Anyway, my son says that he is jealous and insecure. Exuding this can make things worse. How can he tone that down, and as I say, JBC (just be cool)?
Customer

Just saying be cool will not stop him from having the thoughts, what he has to realize that if he doesn't trust her this will push her away and bring alot of drama to the relationship. Maybe while he is incarcerated he could talk to someone in there a counselor or a clergyman within the jail they will help him to possibly deal with some things that over take him. He has to want to help himself and stop having jealous thoughts. Although she may give him reasons to feel that way it can be overcame it is a process and part of the process is when he gets thoughts of jealousy have him think about how much he cares about her and if he wants it to last he will have to have trust that she isn't doing anything wrong, until he has proof he will have to try and trust her.

Like you said it isn't like he is going far away and she can go visit him but the question is will she? This too can be a sign if she doesn't go to see him while he is doing his time then that too could mean she doesn't care about him the way she claims. Your son can't just base his relationship on his 20 day stay in jail he has to see the bigger picture although this will be a test for the relationship. All I can say is as hard as it is you have to let your child(ren) make their own mistakes and learn from them and pick up the pieces if the fall part.

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
Plus, this is big, and should have been addressed in the first sentence. His real mother died in a sudden car crash with his only sibling. Even his dog died in the car. He was left behind with his alcoholic father, who has spent most of the time (2003) since the tragedy in prison. So, though I have stepped in to be the best mom possible knowing I could never replace his real mom, and we have an understanding on that, I have been there for him more than any other adult woman. This could lead to his great insecurity of someone leaving him. In fact, it could be the crux. I have told him, and offered to pay, for him to be in therapy to deal with the loss of his natural mother and brother. He really does need to vent those feelings, and find remedies for the behavioral repercussions. I will accept so you get some compensation, but could we keep this going? Also, I was going to offer that is Erika is scared about being alone, she could stay with me.

Mary,

Yes counseling may do him some good but he has to want to go or at least agree to go. He has been through so much loss this could be the reason for all of his insecurities which is also understandable but that is where counseling could really help him alot and help him to have more of a positive attitude about relationships and loving someone. You stepping in when he lost his mother and only sibling was an unselfish thing to do and you should be commended for it. As far as Erika coming to stay with you while he is gone it's totally up to you if you truly want to help in that way and she agrees then so be it and also this way if she stays with you she knows that if she does anything wrong you may be pushed to tell the boyfriend which in a way would be doing him a favor but still their relationship has to be able to withstand them being apart without fear that the other is going to cheat or leave. It almost sounds like they both need to have couples counseling so that Erika too can find out why she is seeking so much attention from the opposite sex.

She may have some deep wounds that she hasn't reveal to anyone yet but you won't know until she is ready to be honest with not only herself but your son also. You could suggest this to both of them that when your son gets home from his incarceration they consider some type of couples counseling.

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
Some time has passed. There has been a serious breach of trust, and the girl moved out. I can tell "my son" is dispondant. I am concerned because he has to work, plus go to college; therefore, keeping his mind clear it important. But, so hard during this time. I am going to Accept your answers if I have not already, and give him this information. I have told him that it is not "posted" web material. No one else can see it. But, I still feel he needs advice to keep his head clear.
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